RSS

Can the US export free speech when it creates branch campuses in repressive societies?

As an admirer of Korean society I find this exciting.  Korea is creating a campus for multiple universities at Inchon. The idea is to offer something like an industrial park with shared facilities to schools wishing to have a presence in South Korea.  These schools will work with Korean Universities but offer their own degrees.  Schools involved now include:   George Mason University, Stony Brook University of New York, USC, University of Ghent. Korea, with its very American dremocracy, hardened over the decades sinse the Korean War by the hooric model to the North, seems like an ideal place for such an effort.

Eric Weinberger, in stark contrast,  expresses concerns about the plan for a Yale-NUS liberal arts college at the  National University of Singapore. The problem is that the city-state is notorious for its lack of free speech. People have been jailed for speaking their minds and others have been blocked from getting academic jobs.  The words of  Yale President Rick Levin are not encouraging, hre hopes that   “a full orientation”, for faculty and students, will “ensure that they know the rules.”  Would Dr. Levin show the same sort of tolerance towad a Yale-Beijing or a Yale-Mecca?

I wonder whether a more appropriate way of dealing with this sort of cultural gap might not be to offer the foreign campus the opportunity to create a branch here?


Your Comment